Current debates about Colonialism, Slavery and Black Lives Matter: Christian Missionary Activities in Africa revisited

Ike, Obiora (2020) Current debates about Colonialism, Slavery and Black Lives Matter: Christian Missionary Activities in Africa revisited.

[img] Text
Ike paper - Herder Final.pdf

Download (448kB)


The recent trigger for the debates on recalling past history – On May 25 2020, the brutal and outrageous murder of a black American citizen under the hands of the United States of America white police officer Derek Chauvin who pinned the life out of him spread virally on video recording. Seemingly protected by State power, under socially tolerated traditions and legal institutions over centuries, these historically atrocious and racially based injustices have continued unabated in that country, and as is widely known, in many other parts of the world. The #BlackLivesMatter 2020 protests forced governments and other entities across the world to reckon with oppressive histories including slavery, colonialism and racism. It emboldened activists globally and boosted a new sense of humanity, solidarity and empathy and thus galvanized a new awakening of people to stand up everywhere with moral courage and demand that they “want to breathe”. The last words of George Floyd “I can’t breath” implies a re-visit of the many dark shades of human history, especially the chapters covering slavery, colonialism and racism which calls for the purification of memories in the present through recalling the horrible injustices of the past. To understand the political, cultural, economic and social tempers we see on streets happening in every continent, drawing crowds of inter-generational, interracial, inter-religious and multicultural activists globally it is necessary to have some knowledge of the preceding period in order to correct them. It is precisely because of the centrifugal racial, sectarian, ethnic, and religious strife that plagues our world that we need to expose, analyse, and morally evaluate the dark sides of history. By exposing such historical injustices that continue to victimize, marginalize, and embitter people in the present, we find true liberation using the call of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI to proclaim Truth in Charity, published in the Encyclical letter “Veritas in Caritate” (2009). Recently, the Holy Father Pope Francis writing a preface to the new book of Cardinal Walter Kaspar found these words to make the point about some oppressive practices of history, which continue into our time. “We must be shaken by global injustice to be able to wake up and hear the cry of the poor and of our very gravely sick planet,” (Preface to the new book by Cardinal Walter Kasper on Hope and Communion, July 2020 Nothing will minimise the injustices and brutality embedded in the practice of slavery and colonialism perpetrated on African peoples (and in some cases of Africans within themselves) nor diminish the culpability of the invaders and impostors of these systems. As has been noted elsewhere, “colonialism throughout the world has always been an essentially violent phenomenon. It was imposed by violence and maintained by its potential capacity for violence” (Elizabeth Isichei, A history of Igboland, p.9). For Christians, the challenge is to hold to its principal teaching of standing for Life in dignity (Joh 10:10) and to take a stand on issues that bother on the promotion and protection of life of every life and at all times.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: A General Works > AI Indexes (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts > Faculty of Law > Faculty of Management and Social Sciences > Faculty of Education
Depositing User: mrs chioma hannah
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2020 10:49
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2020 10:49

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item